Tony’s Movie Reviews: ‘Doctor Strange,’ ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ and ‘Trolls’

SALT LAKE CITY, November 4, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — With 3 films opening in wide release today, industry insiders are looking to “Doctor Strange” to lead the pack with predicted $85.0 million dollars in its domestic opening weekend, according to Box Office Mojo. The film opened last weekend overseas and has an international total of $122.3 million dollars so far.

The animated film “Trolls,” which opens on over 4,000 theaters domestically, is predicted to bring home about $36.0 million dollars its premiere weekend leaving 3rd place to “Hacksaw Ridge,” the World War II film starring Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer and Vince Vaughn.

Here’s the weekend prediction, according to Box office Mojo, for the top 10 films:

Doctor Strange – $85.0 Million Dollars
Trolls – $36.0 Million Dollars
Hacksaw Ridge – $16 Million Dollars
Boo! A Madea Halloween – $7.7 Million Dollars
Inferno – $7.3 Million Dollars
The Accountant – $4.8 Million Dollars
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back – $4.4 Million Dollars
Ouija: Origin of Evil – $3.3 Million Dollars
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – $2.3 Million Dollars
The Girl on the Train – $2.2 Million Dollars

The Reviews:

Starring the voices of: Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick and Gwen Stefani
Rated PG

The Trolls, who always have a song on their lips, go head-to-head with the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach.

The film features original music from Justin Timberlake, and mashups of songs from other popular artists, along with Timberlake and Kendrick, “Trolls” stars the voices of Russell Brand, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop and Gwen Stefani.

“Trolls” is a likable family film with a good sense of humor and will please both younger kids and their parents as older kids may find the film a bit too “goody-goody.”

All in all the film offers up some positive messages and has a great soundtrack. It gets a B and is rated PG.

Hacksaw Ridge
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer and Vince Vaughn
Rated R

Directed by Mel Gibson, the film chronicles the life of Desmond Doss, an Army Medic who, during the battle of Okinawa, saved the lives of many soldiers in his battalion. Doss’ was a conscientious objector and refused to carry a weapon into battle.

Andrew Garfield takes on the role of Desmond Doss, who became the first conscientious objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Garfield’s performance is spot on as he is steadfast in keeping to his convictions, even under the abuse of his fellow soldiers and his superior officers who are convinced he is a coward.

Garfield is beautifully supported by his fellow cast members’ portrayals, including Teresa Palmer as Dorothy Doss, Hugo Weaving as Doss’ father, a WWI vet who is suffering from the aftermath of his time in battle and Vince Vaughn as Doss’ drill sergeant.

Finally, “Hacksaw Ridge” is not afraid to show the brutality and horror of the battlefield as some of the special effects and makeup are ghastly accurate. And it is important to note the film, under Gibson’s direction, is not preachy or slanted about war, but simply tells Doss’ story.

“Hacksaw Ridge” is not to be missed it deserves and A and is rated R.

Doctor Strange
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch and Rachel McAdams
Rated PG-13

“Doctor Strange” follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond.

“Doctor Strange” successfully balances fantasy, action and humor with special effects and pacing.

Benedict Cumberbatch is perfectly arrogant in the role of Stephen Strange, who loses everything he thinks is important and begins a path of self discovery and awareness about the physical world around him.

A special mention about Tilda Swinton who plays The Ancient One, who is Doctor Strange’s mentor. Swinton delivers a very likeable character who harnesses great power yet is at times vulnerable and funny.

But the film is not without its faults as the antagonist, played by Mads Mikkelsen needed to be written a bit deeper instead of as a 2-dimensional one-track minded villain.

All in all “Doctor Strange” offers up solid entertainment well worth seeing. It gets an A and is rated PG-13.


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